Police Hunt Man Who Murdered Wife With Ax

Police in Koh Kong province are searching for a 47-year-old man who allegedly hacked his wife to death with an ax in a mangrove forest near their home Friday night, local officials said Sunday.

Roeun Ry and his wife Chhon Koeun, 29, had been drinking heavily on Friday night and walked together into the forest —about 700 meters from their home in Koh Kong district’s Koh Kapi commune—at which point Mr. Ry struck her repeatedly with the ax, according to commune police chief Heng Sam Oeun.

“She pretended to die after she was cut. After her husband left the scene, she crawled to a villager’s small house and asked for help,” Mr. Sam Oeun said.

Chhon Koeun was then taken to the provincial hospital, he said, where she died at about 3 a.m. Saturday from a gash in her back that pierced a lung.

Mr. Sam Oeun said that Mr. Ry had so far evaded capture, but that he and 16 other police officers had been searching for him in the forest where the murder took place.

Commune chief Khun Vanna said that the couple argued regularly and that Chhon Koeun was rumored to have been having an affair.

“I am not sure what caused him to cut his wife,” he said. “It might have been out of jealousy.”

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